In a few weeks, a powerful new opioid painkiller called Zohydro is expected to hit the market. Zohydro's easily crushed capsules will contain up to 50 milligrams of pure hydrocodone, 10 times more hydrocodone than a regular Vicodin. One capsule will pack enough to kill a child.
When I was wholly honest about my sobriety and in unbearable pain, I couldn't actually get any relief -- or even on the phone with the doctor to explain myself. In other words, because of the fact that I'd told the truth, I'd been characterized as a scheming addict.
The Obama administration has adopted a mainstream approach to the drug problem, employing a balance of public health and safety approaches to reduce drug use and its consequences. All of these policies are grounded in science and research -- not politics or ideology.
Two important public health policy matters that require the attention of policy makers seem to be constantly in tension with one another: the under-treatment of chronic pain and the abuse of prescription medications.
Americans are becoming more dependent on drugs, despite years -- decades -- of our War on Drugs. Somehow, confiscating marijuana, cocaine, and illicit painkillers has not reversed our addictive proclivities.